Tatiana Shubin, Director

Tatiana Shubin
Photo courtesy of George Csicsery

Tatiana is one of the founders of the Navajo Nation Math Circles project and brings a long history of working with math circles, including one of the original math circles in the United States. She is a Sequoyah Fellow in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and is an adopted member of the Navajo Tribal clan, Todích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). She resides in San Jose, California, USA.

David Austin, Director

David Austin
Photo courtesy of David Austin

David has been working with the Alliance since 2017. A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, he helped found a chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) at the University of British Columbia and traveled widely in the province leading math workshops for indigenous students. He now lives in Allendale, Michigan where he is a mathematics professor at Grand Valley State University.

Amanda Serenevy, Director

Dr. Amanda Serenevy. Photo courtesy of George Csicsery.
Photo courtesy of George Csicsery

Amanda learned about math circles in one of the earliest math circles in the United States (Boston’s The Math Circle with Ellen and Robert Kaplan). She is a past director of the Navajo Nation Math Circles project and currently is the Executive Director of the Riverbend Community Mathematics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

Bob Klein, Director

Bob Klein, Executive Director of AIMC
Photo courtesy of Ohio University, Ben Siegel

Bob has been working with math circles since 2012. A past director of the Navajo Nation Math Circles project, Bob has worked with students, teachers, parents, community members, and educational leadership on engaging mathematics, rural education, and community collaboration. Bob is proud to be an adopted member of the Navajo Tribal clan, Todích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). He has worked with indigenous peoples from around the world in the U.S., México, Guatemala, Panamá, and Nepal. He resides in Athens, Ohio, USA. Bob is also a 2019-20 Fellow of the American Council on Education.

Regional Coordinators

Regional coordinators are local educators or community members who serve as regional contacts, organizers, and contacts for those interested in doing more with or learning more about the work of the AIMC.

Dawnlei Hunter Ben

Dawnlei Hunter Ben
Ya’ateeh (Hello) Dawnlei is Naa’neeshte’zhi Ta’chiinii (Red Running Through the Water-Zuni Division) clan. Born for Naakai Diné (Wondering People) clan. Her maternal grandfathers are Tódi’chii’nii (Bitter Water) clan and her paternal grandfathers are Tótso’nii (Big Water) clan. She is from Tse’zhin Na’stlah Tse’yidi (Canyon DeChelly) in Chinle Arizona. This is how she is known and relates to her Diné (Navajo) People and to all creations of Mother Earth and Father Sky.

Dawnlei is an Instructor of Indigenous Science at Dzil Dit’loií School of Empowerment, Action, and Perseverance (DEAP) in Navajo, NM. Dawnlei helped coordinate and implement Diné philosophy in local math circles, festivals, teacher professional development, and math camps for Math Circles on the Navajo Reservation before leaving for school to continue her education in 2016. Dawnlei returned in 2018 with her masters in Educational Technology and wants to continue her work on implementing Native American Philosophy in AIMC.

Beth Cammarata

Beth CammarataMs. Beth Cammarata is a mathematics teacher leader at Santa Fe Indian School and teaches students from New Mexico’s 19 Pueblo tribes as well as students of the Diné and Apache tribes. Beth serves the Central New Mexico region.

Donna Fernandez

Ms. Donna Fernandez engages a student in a probability task.

Ms. Donna Fernandez is an accomplished teacher of mathematics at Navajo Preparatory Academy and a MESA Coordinator. She is of the Pomo and resides in Farmington, New Mexico and sometimes in California. Donna coordinates the Four Corners Math Teachers’ Circle workshops. Donna serves the Four Corners region (AZ, CO, NM, UT).

LaVerne Lomakema

Hello. My name is LaVerne Lomakema. I am Hopi and Navajo from the village of Lower Mungapi near Tuba City, Arizona. My clan is Pipwungwa (Tobacco Clan). Ta’neeszahnii bashishchiin dóó Bii’bitoohnii dashinalí. I am a mathematics instructor at Hopi Jr/Sr High School in Keams Canyon, Arizona located on the Hopi Reservation. I also serve as a dual-enrollment mathematics instructor for Northland Pioneer College. It is a pleasure serving as a Math Circles Regional Coordinator.

James Taylor

Mr. James Taylor is the Director of the New Mexico Math Circles Collaborative and a retired teacher of mathematics from the Santa Fe Preparatory School (Santa Fe, NM). James has worked with math circles and math festivals for nearly a decade. James serves the New Mexico region broadly.

Craig Young

Craig YoungYá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidine’é. Shí éí Craig M. Young yinishyé. Honágháahnii nishłį́​, Kin łichii’nii bashishchiin, T ł ‘ááshchí’í dashicheii dóó Nát’oh dine’é Táchii’nii dashinalí. I am the Math Circle Academy Coordinator and Instructor at Tuba City Boarding School. Currently, I teach Mathematics and Sciences at the Thunderbird Academy at Tuba City Boarding School.
I have served in the United States Marine Corps and have participated in educating adult learners at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado and high school students with an Upward Bound Program as well as a number of other community outreach projects that empower our youth and mold young minds. I have devoted my life to helping underserved students and making their education positively meaningful and enjoyable. Craig serves the Central/North Central Arizona region.

Advisory Board

We are fortunate to be guided by the wisdom and experience of a group of advisors to the AIMC.

Henry Fowler, co-Founder

Dr. Henry Fowler collaborates with a participant.
Navajo Technical University
Henry co-founded the Navajo Nation Math Circles project and brings a passion for education and mathematics to the AIMC. His extensive history of advocating on behalf of Navajo STEM education and opportunities for indigenous students and teachers is visionary. Henry is of the Diné and currently resides in Wheatfields, AZ, Diné Bikeyah.

Dr. Chadd McGlone

Chadd McGlone
Teachers2Teachers Global
Dr. Chadd McGlone is T2TGlobal’s cofounder and former executive director. Prior to launching T2TGlobal in 2014, he spent fifteen years in the classroom teaching mathematics and science to middle school students. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Ohio State University and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, specializing in math education and statistics. Dr. McGlone has served as the president of the North American Study Group in Ethnomathematics. He is happiest either traveling to a new country or exploring a new mountain bike trail.

Jerry C. Elliott-High Eagle

Jerry C. Elliott-High EagleAISES
Jerry C. Elliott-High Eagle is a physicist, and was one of the first indigenous persons employed by NASA, where he had a rewarding and successful career for 41 years. He is most known for his contributions as the lead Retrofire Officer during the Apollo 13 mission, where his actions saved the lives of the three astronauts on board. Elliott’s work awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, awarded by the President of the United States. Some of Elliott’s personal papers from the Apollo era are held at the Oklahoma History Center.
In 1977, he was a founder/incorporator of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Inc. The society pursues further Native American involvement in the sciences. He is the founder and CEO of High Eagle Technologies, Inc., a Native company dedicated to cancer research and treatment with patented technology he was awarded in 2019.
Jerry enjoys playing the guitar and Indian flute. His music compositions have led to him to performing with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He has also played a role in the film Houston, We’ve Got a Problem, where he played himself, along with appearances on the television show Walker, Texas Ranger.

Dr. Belin Tsinnajinnie

Dr. Belin TsinnajinnieSanta Fe Community College
Belin Tsinnajinnie (he/him) is Diné and Filipinx from Na’ Neelzhiin, New Mexico. Belin received his PhD in Mathematics at the University of Arizona with a doctoral thesis focused on notions of mathematical identity in the context of Indigenous and Latinx students. He is a Full-time Faculty in the Mathematics Department here at SFCC. Belin is interested in identifying and articulating issues pertaining social justice and equity in mathematics education through Indigenous perspectives.

William Yslas Vélez

William Yslas VelezUniversity of Arizona
William Yslas Vélez is a University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Emeritus, and an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 1994–96, Vélez served as the president of Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). He also worked with the US Navy on communication systems for submarines, and holds four patents on this work.
According to Vélez, “One of the wonderful things about the mathematical community is being around some of the smartest people in the world. Mathematicians can do anything.” He adds, “The role of mathematics in society has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Mathematics has become an essential component in a large number of academic studies and technical careers. Moreover, the associated analytical thinking that one acquires in the process of mathematical training is a valued commodity in the workforce. An undergraduate degree in mathematics, coupled with computer skills, is marketable, versatile and provides entrance into a variety of careers.”
Vélez is concerned about and involved with increasing the number of Chicano/Latino, Native American and African American students pursuing careers in mathematics-based fields. Mathematical knowledge is now a civil-rights issue as this training gains entrance into high paying careers that are also exciting and address the needs of society. Our communities have a right to participate in the mathematical enterprise. We must participate.

Robert Eugene Megginson

Robert Eugene MegginsonUniversity of Michigan
Robert Eugene Megginson (Lakota) is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is one of a handful of Native Americans who hold a PhD in mathematics, and he has taken great interest in underrepresented minorities in mathematics. In particular, in the 1990s he spent most summers teaching mathematics in special programs at Turtle Mountain Community College, the tribal college of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota.
Dr. Megginson has mentored many minority students and in 1997 received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) awarded Megginson its Ely S. Parker Award for lifetime service to the Native American community in 1999. In 2001 he was named to the Native American Science and Engineering Wall of Fame. The American Association for the Advancement of Science elected him as a fellow in 2009, and in the same year the Mathematical Association of America gave him their Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service, for his work on underrepresented minorities. In 2012, Megginson became one of the inaugural fellows of the American Mathematical Society, and in 2019 was honored with the Distinguished Mentor of the Year Award by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS). He is currently co-Principal Investigator for AISES’s Lighting the Pathway to Faculty Careers for Natives in STEM, funded by the single largest National Science Foundation grant ever received by AISES.

Dr. Kathy DeerInWater

Dr. Kathy DeerInWaterAmerican Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
Dr. Kathy DeerInWater is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She joined AISES in October 2014 and completed her Doctoral degree in Ecology at the University of California, Davis in September 2015. As a long-time member of the AISES family, Dr. DeerInWater brings first-hand experience and passion to AISES’ mission of increasing the representation of Native people in STEM studies and careers. Dr. DeerInWater oversees program development, implementation, and evaluation for all AISES projects, serving our youngest students to senior-level professionals. Dr. DeerInWater also engages in research to better understand the impact of AISES and more generally what makes Native people successful in STEM.

John Herrington

John HerringtonAssociation of Naval Aviation and American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
John Bennett Herrington is a retired United States Naval Aviator, Naval Test Pilot, and NASA astronaut. Born in Wetumka, Oklahoma, into the Chickasaw Nation, John built his career on service.
Having always wanted to be a pilot, Herrington joined the Navy and received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in March of 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1985. He has logged over 4,800 flight hours in over 30 different types of aircraft. In 1995 Herrington received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
In 2002, Commander Herrington flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-113, the 112th Shuttle mission, logging more than 330 hours in space and performing 19 hours, 55 minutes of Extra-Vehicular Activity—the 143rd person to walk in space and the first Native American in history. John honored his Native American heritage during that walk by carrying six eagle feathers, a braid of sweet grass, two arrowheads and the Chickasaw nation’s flag.
In July 2004, Herrington served as the commander of the NEEMO 6 mission, an analog mission that served as a field test in locations that have physical similarities to the extreme space environments. He and his crew lived and worked underwater for 10 days.
Since retiring from NASA in July 2005, his focus has been promoting STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math education and careers, particularly for Native American youth. He undertook RocketTrek, a 4,300-mile cross-country solo bicycle ride from Makah, Washington to Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center, earned a PhD in education from the University of Idaho, and wrote a children’s book, Mission to Space. He serves as a judge and judge advisor for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Oklahoma Regional and supports cultural and educational initiatives across the country.

Commander Herrington is a life member of the Association of Naval Aviation, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Alumni Association, a Sequoyah Fellow and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Brianna Donaldson

Brianna DonaldsonAmerican Institute of Mathematics (AIM)
Brianna Donaldson (PhD, Indiana University) has served as Director of Special Projects since 2008 at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), one of six NSF-funded math research institutes in the U.S. Donaldson oversees national-level education, workforce development, and public outreach projects that contribute to the broader impacts of AIM’s work as an institute. At AIM, she has developed the Math Teachers’ Circle Network from 6 initial sites into a major national mathematics education initiative that encompasses more than 140 sites in 38 states and involves approximately 2,500 teachers and 400 mathematicians. Her efforts to promote increased diversity in mathematics have included serving as a Co-PI for the NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty program and as the lead organizer for a Math Teachers’ Circle training workshop sponsored by the MAA for teachers of underrepresented students. She serves on multiple national-level advisory boards and committees related to increasing diversity in STEM fields.

Federico Ardila

Federico ArdilaSan Francisco State University and University of Los Andes in Colombia
Federico is Professor of Mathematics at San Francisco State University and the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a member of the Colombian Academy of Science, and a winner of the Mathematical Association of America National Haimo Award for Teaching and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Federico has advised 50 thesis students, he founded the SFSU-Colombia Combinatorics Initiative, and he co-directs the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program for students from underrepresented minority groups. He is constantly searching for ways to grow and foster an increasingly diverse, equitable, and welcoming community of mathematicians that empowers and serves the needs of all.